Premier League survival is very much on the agenda for both sides in this huge game.
Alan Pardew has been talking about wanting to finish well in mid-table but with a run of 14 league games without a win and having lost six on the bounce at Selhurst Park, Pardew’s team are in a tail spin.
Norwich have only just managed to pull out of their own tail spin after a run of 11 games without a win that has seen City win the last two in a row, gaining 7 points in their last three games at such a crucial time of the season.
If City could win this game, they would open up a 7 point gap on Sunderland, with the Black Cats not playing Leicester until Sunday lunchtime. They would also then be level on points with Palace, thereby dragging another team into the mix.
Connor Wickham could play for the first time since 1st March after returning from injury this week and Yohan Cabaye is back after missing out last week. Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to miss out.
Russell Martin returns to the squad, giving his gaffer a selection headache at right back after Andre Wisdom did so well against Newcastle. Nathan Redmond also returns and is in contention to start. Alex Tettey is the only major casualty in the squad.
WHAT DO THE MANAGERS HAVE TO SAY?
‘It’s going to be loud and intimidating, so Norwich will have to deal with it.’
‘We are actually closer to mid-table than we are to the bottom three so we can still finish strongly and that is what we want to do.’
‘We played in front of 90,000 at Wembley. That won’t bother us.’
‘We’ve found a good balance now between attacking and defending, that’s something I’ve been speaking about throughout the season.
‘I think we’re at a stage now where we’re relatively comfortable with our game and everybody is enjoying it.
‘But all we’ve done really is give ourselves a good opportunity to get ourselves out of the situation we were in. These next two games in particular are ones where we really need to force that home.’
Norwich have not won at Crystal Palace for nearly 20 years – since a 1-0 victory in May 1996 in the old Division One.
The Canaries have won just two of their last 16 league meetings with the Eagles (D6, L8).
Crystal Palace remain without a league win since 19 December – a run of 14 games (D5, L9).
They have lost six successive home games in the league and their tally of 14 points at home is the second worst record in the top flight this season behind Aston Villa (10).
Norwich have taken seven points from their last three league games – prior to this run they had taken one from 27 available.
Their tally of 31 points from 32 games is one fewer than they had at the same stage of the 2013-14 season when they were relegated.
So, despite history being against us, having not won at Selhurst Park for 20 years, losing this game is not an option. The opportunity to reinforce the recent upturn in form is paramount and although I’d take a draw right now, a win would be another hammer blow to the two North East clubs.
This is the second match in our three game mini season in which we have so far given ourselves a chance, nothing more, of staying up. I’m not expecting a high scoring affair but am hopeful that if the lads play as they did last week that we can achieve another positive result.
If you’re going to Selhurst Park, sing your heart out for the lads and roar them to victory.
COME ON YOU YELLOWS!!!